AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ORB-3 on a Antares rocket from Wallops Island, VA
scheduled for:
21 Oct 14 2:29:00 GMT
20 Oct 14 22:29:00 EDT

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It's Back! 'Mystery Island' in Titan Sea Makes Unexpected Reappearance

Three radar images, taken from April 2007 to August 2014, showing how the “mystery island” in Ligeia Mare has changed in appearance over time. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell

The mystery of an unusual feature in one of Titan’s hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the “mystery island,” has taken an interesting turn. After apparently disappearing following its initial [...]

New Dust Map of Galaxy Casts Doubts on Gravitational Waves Discovery

All-sky map of interstellar dust from Planck. Blue areas have less dust and red areas have more. The patch of sky observed by BICEP2 is not in one of the less dusty regions. Northern hemisphere is on the left and southern is on the right. Image Credit: ESA

As sometimes happens, the celebrations may [...]

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Gears Up for Annual Autograph Show, Gala

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) was founded by the surviving Mercury 7 astronauts in 1984. Its mission is to help educate subsequent generations of STEM pioneers. Photo Credit: NASA

While the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF) is known to many space buffs for its annual Astronaut Autograph and Memorabilia Show and its galas featuring a [...]

Bizarre Universe: Massive Black Hole In Tiny Galaxy and Exoplanet That Makes Its Star Act Older Than It Is

Artist’s concept of the massive black hole in the dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, STScI-RCC14-41a

The universe is a wild and weird place, and two recent findings from orbiting space telescopes illustrate just how bewildering it can be: a monster-sized black hole in one of the tiniest galaxies known and a huge exoplanet that is [...]

Landing Site Selected for First-Ever Attempt to Land on a Comet

Landing site J, marked by the white + sign, on the head of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

A landing site has now been chosen for the Rosetta spacecraft’s lander, Philae, on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, it was announced this morning. After several candidate landing sites had been considered, site J has now [...]

Rainfall on Titan May Create Propane Aquifers, Study Suggests

Illustration of a cross-section of Titan’s surface and near-subsurface, showing the surface lakes/seas, underground aquifers, clathrate layers, and icy crust. Image Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is a very alien yet eerily Earth-like world, with rain, rivers, lakes, and seas; seen from above, the landscape has a familiar look to it. But [...]

Astronomers Witness Asteroid Smash-Up Around Sun-Like Star

Artist’s conception of an asteroid collision around the Sun-like star NGC 2547-ID8. Such impacts around young stars lead to planetary formation later on. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Solar systems, including ours, are thought to begin as massive clouds of dust and gas surrounding young stars; over billions of years, planets form from repeated impacts of [...]

Taking Aim With ExoLance: A New Way to Search for Life on Mars

“Got Life?”—the ExoLance logo. Image Credit: Explore Mars

Is or was there life on Mars? That is one of the biggest and most hotly debated questions in planetary science. The manner in which the evidence has been searched for is also a topic of much discussion. The Viking landers in the 1970s were the [...]

Bacteria Discovered in Lake of Oil: Implications for Extraterrestrial Life?

Pitch Lake in Trinidad, where life has been found inside water droplets within the oil deposits. Photo Credit: Martina Jackson/Wikimedia Commons

A recent discovery by scientists may have implications for possible extraterrestrial life: Bacteria have been found thriving in a lake of oil in Trinidad, again showing how life can exist in even the [...]

ESA's 'Discovery Machine' Gets Ready for Science: Gaia Concludes Commissioning Phase, Begins Primary Five-Year Mission

Artist’s concept of the Gaia. Having recently completed a rigorous test and commissioning phase, the space observatory began its five-year primary science mission of mapping and cataloguing approximately 1 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Image Credit: ESA–D. Ducros, 2013

Following the successful conclusion of a very demanding and extensive six-month commissioning period, [...]